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Aeromarine 39 Land-based / Water-based Trainer Aircraft (1916)

Authored By JR Potts, AUS 173d AB | Last Updated: 3/23/2010

The Aeromarine 39 became the first American aircraft to land on a moving carrier in 1922.

The Aeromarine 39 was a two-seat plane for land-based or seaplane training ordered by the US Navy in 1917. The versatile aircraft was built by the Aeromarine Plane and Motor Company of Keyport, New Jersey. The design was a standard biplane configuration and construction. The aircraft was fabricated so the pontoons could be hastily detached and replaced with the supplied wheeled undercarriage for land or carrier operations. As time went on, fifty of the originally built designs were reassigned under the designation of 39A. The 39A models featured twin floats and the plane was powered by a Hall-Scott A-7 engine. The Hall-Scott A-7 was an early aircraft engine with a straight 4 configuration and could produce a maximum of 100 horsepower (75 kW). These engines suffered from consistency problems and many were prone to catch fire while in operation forcing the manufacturer to start using the Curtiss OXX powerplant. Other redesigns increased the wingspan for more lift needed for those water take-offs. This became known as the 39B. Additional changes included a single pontoon with outrigger floats, plus an enlarged vertical tail surface.

On October 26, 1922 Lt.Cdr. G. deC.Chevalier, piloting an Aeromarine 39, circled the USS Langley as the ship was underway at 10 knots. Chevalier successfully landed his plane on the moving deck of the Langley. The first such landing on an American carrier.

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Picture of Aeromarine 39
Pic of the Aeromarine 39
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Specifications for the
Aeromarine 39
Land-based / Water-based Trainer Aircraft

Focus Model: Aeromarine 39A
Country of Origin: United States
Manufacturer: Aeromarine Plane and Motor Company - USA
Initial Year of Service: 1916
Production: 150

Crew: 2

Length: 30.35ft (9.25m)
Width: 46.98ft (14.32m)
Height: 14.76ft (4.50m)
Weight (Empty): 1,940lbs (880kg)
Weight (MTOW): 2,504lbs (1,136kg)

Powerplant: 1 x Hall Scott A-7 piston engine generating 100 horsepower.

Maximum Speed: 73mph (117kmh; 63kts)
Maximum Range: 273miles (439km)
Service Ceiling: 8,202ft (2,500m; 1.6miles)
Rate-of-Climb: 0 feet per minute (0m/min)

Hardpoints: 0
Armament Suite:

Aeromarine Model 39A - Twin-Float Seaplane; fitted with 1 x Hall-Scott A-7 engine of 100 horsepower.

Aeromarine Model 39B - Twin-Float Seaplane; fitted with Curtiss OXX water-cooled V-8 engine; increased wingspan; single-pontoon outrigger floats; enlarged vertical tail.

China; United States